I just obtained my Residente Permanente Visa and thought others might be interested in the process.
Everyone holding a Residente Temporal (formerly the FM3) likely knows that after 4 years you will have to take out a Residente Permanente, or give up your Residente Temporal and get a tourist visa on each visit to Mexico.
The nice thing about getting the Residente Permanente is that you will never have to go back to the dreaded IMN office to renew each year. No deadlines, fees and penalties around renewal.
Other advantages include exemption from capital gains tax on house sale, ability to earn income in Mexico and obtain a tax number, and of course also get Mexican citizenship.
Step One: go to the IMN office in Melaque with Residente Temporal card and your passport. You will sign application forms and be sent to the Banamex bank to pay a fee of about 1200 pesos. Returning with bank receipt in hand, you will be told that you will be informed by email within 3 weeks to return with your paperwork, photos (available down the street) and identification.
Step Two: upon receiving notice by email of approval, you return the the IMN office with photos, previous paperwork and identification. You are then sent to the bank to pay another 4300 pesos, then sign more papers and get fingerprinted.
Step Three: after another 3 weeks you will receive email notification to pick up your new card.
The process, aside from three trips to IMN, is painless. For some strange reason, no english is spoken in the office, but one really can get through the process with minimal spanish.
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